Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Viral Nation (Viral #1) by Shaunta Grimes

Viral Nation (Viral #1) by Shaunta Grimes
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publish Date:  July 2, 2013
Pages: 320
ISBN# 978-0425261530

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.

Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.

When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.

My Review:
So sixteen years ago there was a virus that wiped out most of the world's population.  The survivors were saved by an inoculation and now must receive regular shots.

The main character is sixteen year old Clover Donovan. She's smart, autistic and has a service dog. Clover wants to get into the Academy to better her life and hopefully her brothers too.  She's turned down after her interview due to her dog (she thinks) but is offered a position with the Time Mariners.  Time Mariners travel exactly two years into the future to get data to apprehend criminals before the crimes happen and to assist the government with how to get around any crisis.  It was interesting to see how Clover's autism affected her thinking, actions and reasoning.

West is her older brother - he takes care of Clover and works in the fields for the Company. He's also in love with Bridget.  West has to work the fields so that he can be Clover's guardian, but she thinks he just wasn't smart enough to get into the Academy.  Their father was recruited as an executioner for the Company and he lives in the barracks with the rest of the military.  He's in charge of executing people that are going to commit crimes.

Bridget and Jude have slightly minor parts, but I hope the next book will give us more on these two characters.  Bridget is the daughter of the Academy's Headmaster. Jude is an orphan at the Academy, he seems to have a connection with Clover.

The writing is excellent.  I was drawn into the story immediately and didn't want to put it down.  The world building was quick and efficient, but detailed enough to answer my questions.  This is a sure winner, grab it and head to the beach, pool or park - you won't be sorry!

About the Author:

Shaunta Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a drug court counselor, and a vintage clothing seller. No matter which direction she strays, however, she always comes back to storytelling. She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada. Viral Nation is her debut traditionally-published novel.

How to Connect with Shaunta:

Email: shauntagrimes@gmail.com
Twitter: @shauntagrimes
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/pages/Shaunta-Grimes/616126965080762
Blog: www.shauntagrimes.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/yEc11

About Viral Nation:

Read the first two chapters on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15985355-viral-nation

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